Explore SNP South - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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rock scrambling is the best.

Don’t let the short distance fool you, this trail is great! The rock scramble at the top is pretty awesome and the views are just spectacular! A great place to watch the sun go down!

Nice moderate hike. The trail was pretty narrow most of the way. We felt very secluded. I don't think we passed but maybe two other hikers while we were on the trail. Really beautiful views at the top.

Really beautiful summit! I would rate this more as a moderate, but I'm also a bit out of practice. Definitely feels longer than expected because it's all up hill. Well worth the workout though!

hiking
12 days ago

This is probably my favorite trail in the entire park. This is like a giant playground. It feels exposed and if you are afraid of heights, this probably is one to stay away from ...but the views are amazing and worth it. It is a pretty easy hike and the payoff for the view is well worth the scramble. NO DOGS allowed on the trail for obvious reasons ...I don't want someone hurting their fur baby trying to get them up to the summit for a pic, there are plenty of other places for that in the park..

This is a beautiful hike. Most of the trail is along streams and the waterfalls are awesome! If you do the whole loop I wouldn’t recommend small children. Also, wear hiking boots or waterproof boots. The whole loop is an all day hike.

hiking
15 days ago

One of the best places for sunrise/sunset if your up to scrambling up and down the rocks.

It’s under an hour, but it’s a great hour. Rock scramble is fun, you’re inches from sheer cliff in a few spots, though. Can be crowded.

The summit was a bit crowded at the top, but understandably so for a beautiful Saturday in October :) The hike was not overly strenuous for an absolutely gorgeous view.

Bearfence is always a hike. Short and sweet with quite the view at the peak. It is challenging for those who do not like heights or are unsteady on their feet.

It was a good trail. Other reviews are accurate in that the last bit is a little challenging if you are out of shape or have wee legs. Great veiws on a clear day in early October.

hiking
29 days ago

Great hike! My girlfriend and I did the Rip Rap/Wildcat loop as a two day backcountry camping trip and had an excellent time. The NPS Guide recommends camping somewhere just after you turn onto the Wildcat Ridge trail off of the Rip Rap trail but we opted to get in another mile and half or so to shorten our hike the next morning. We hiked about 6 miles the first day and the remaining 3.5 the following morning. We managed to find a nice little spot to set up camp after about 6 miles, and realized hiking out the next day that we found one of the only decent spots to camp in that mileage range. You'd either need to hike almost clear to end of the loop or camp back at the trail merge otherwise. The first six miles had a few great views from the ridge line and then some cool stream crossings, small waterfalls, and a deep swimming hole as you hiked through the valley before heading back uphill again. I highly recommend bringing a change of socks as some of the stream crossings can be sketchy and there's a chance you're going to put a foot in the water... All in all, great hike, great way to see the leaves change.

Short trail with some challenging rock scrambles, definitely not pet friendly, nice views

Decent trail, not a lot of space at the overlook though. Probably would have rated the trail higher but the summit was too rocky for my dog to walk around on. Easy hike though if your looking for something quick and easy.

hiking
1 month ago

Only managed to do part of the trail due to time restrictions, but decent hike. We went counter clockwise so had a decent amount of elevation change. Hope to return to finish the rest of the trail.

Always a great hike...

My favorite trail during my time in the park. Fun rock scramble at the end and a beautiful 360 view to top it all off.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely recommend going counterclockwise on the loop! We went clockwise and skipped right past all of the scenic parts. We had a great time but got really frustrated having to cross the river three times and the water was up to our knees. Bring water shoes!

hiking
1 month ago

Tough due to all the rocks but a good hike. Not many view opportunities but a great day in nature.

Great trail. Start to the right and loop around. Wear gloves to scramble on rocks.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice quick hike.. great views from the summit

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely would have rated this moderate. You go down 400 feet before an uphill incline of that and more. Lots of rocks on the trail and the last bit involves climbing over giant rocks. Still I beautiful view though.

Beautiful views. Peaceful place for the sunrise, quick rock scramble.

great hike and well marked. Views are amazing!

2 months ago

Was boring at times with only a couple great views. The watering hole was a lot of fun though.

hiking
2 months ago

This has to be one of the best value hikes in Shenandoah. The level of effort vs rewarding views is awesome! My 12yo son and I made this out first hike in Shenandoah and it was a perfect way to break-in to hiking. The trail was lightly trekked unlike Hawksbill or other popular trails that can get crowded. There is a fun little rock scramble and a false peak that is the perfect place to take in the views and a snack. It only took 30-45 minutes to summit at a relaxed pace and stops to take in different scenic or fun spots along the way. We did it on a hot and humid July day so I look forward to doing it in better weather in the fall.

This was a great hike if we had't gotten lost; not that it wasn't well marked, but be sure to read all reviews and everyone's notes before doing these hikes. We started at the wrong point - at the Overlook - and hooked up with the trail without a problem, but at about the 8 mile mark (yes we'd already gone off the trail at one point) we mistakenly took the fire trail and ended up 2 miles out of our way. However, if you stay on the trail, this is an excellent one as it is nice and clear, the falls are some of the prettiest in that you get SO close, and it was just overall a very pleasant hike. It is definitely a long downhill followed by a long uphill but they are gradual enough to not burn too badly. You do have to cross the river a few times and it was wet; I would allow about 6 hours for the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Great views loved the swimming pond

Great trail, nothing too technical, elevation changes and length make the challenge. Just take your time, enjoy the views, rest occasionally, and you’ll have a great time.

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